The Origins of the Minotaur from Greek Mythology

The Minotaur is a creature from ancient Greek mythology. The creature's name originates from the Ancient Greek words "Minos," who was a king of Crete, and "taurus," which means bull. 

The Minotaur was said to be the offspring of Pasiphaë, the wife of King Minos of Crete, and a magnificent bull. The bull was sent by the god Poseidon to Minos as a sign of support. However, Minos was supposed to sacrifice the bull to honor Poseidon, but instead, he kept it for himself because of its beauty. Angered by this, Poseidon made Pasiphaë fall in love with the bull, which resulted in the birth of the Minotaur.

The Minotaur was depicted as a creature with the body of a man and the head and tail of a bull. Unable to find a suitable source of nourishment, the Minotaur became ferociously violent and began eating humans to survive.

To contain this monstrous creature, Minos commissioned the famed inventor and craftsman Daedalus to construct a massive, complex labyrinth to confine the Minotaur. This labyrinth was so intricate that anyone who entered would be unable to find their way out.

Each year, according to the myth, the city of Athens was forced to send seven boys and seven girls to Crete as tribute. These youths were placed into the labyrinth to be hunted and devoured by the Minotaur. 

The hero Theseus, with help from Minos's daughter Ariadne, eventually killed the Minotaur. Ariadne provided Theseus with a ball of thread before he entered the Labyrinth. Theseus used the thread to mark his path so that he could find his way out after killing the Minotaur. Theseus' success in slaying the Minotaur ended the Athenian tributes to Crete.